My dog is a constant itching and scratching machine. How much of a role does diet play in this sort of behavior?

Donna Richardson’s response: Sorry you are having problems with your dog. I am going to assume you have done a little detective work, and your dog does not have fleas. You could also be dealing with something seasonal or environmental. But diet can and often does play a huge role in these itchy, scratching dogs.

Food trials can be frustrating, and can take from several weeks to a few months. We work with each dog as an individual, because they are all different, and can suffer from varying degrees of the same issue. In other words, what worked for your friend’s dog might not work for yours.

Without more of a history on your dog, I would make the following recommendations:

  • First of all, supplement his diet with raw goat’s milk. It acts as a natural antihistamine. It also contains caprylic acid, which is known for it’s ability to fight yeast. Fermented milk is also a preferred way to deliver probiotics.
  • We need to discuss your dog’s current diet and overall general health. We might try a novel protein source in the form of a limited ingredient kibble or balanced raw diet. Sometimes eliminating grains from the diet will help tremendously. Also, bolster that immune system!

I would be happy to schedule an appointment to have you come out and go over some options for your dog. A good nutritional plan for your dog will not replace your veterinarian, but will certainly make his or her work a lot easier.

Best of luck!

Posted 10/18/2013

Donna Richardson is White Fang Ventures’ true dietetics advisor and an invaluable source of information on holistic pet nutrition. Donna will field questions periodically in “Donna’s Corner” at Visit her website at